Hitching your wagon to the right event partners can make all the difference in the world. These partnerships can help you acquire a new audience, add credibility to your event, and increase revenue.
But how do you go about finding the right strategic partners?
Guidelines to Identify Your Ideal Event Partner
Understand Your Event Goals
It’s tempting to want to start sending out emails to prospective partners, but doing so without recognizing your overall goals and objectives may lead to disaster. Event planners must have a clear picture in their minds of what they hope to accomplish with their event.
For example, if the goal of your event is to increase brand awareness, then you need to start searching for event partners with that goal in mind. Increasing brand awareness means getting your attendees to have an engaging experience with your brand, one they will share with their own network.
In this instance, you may want to partner with an agency with experience in experiential event design.
Choosing the right event partner requires you to start from the end. What is the overall goal of your event, and what type of partner can best help you reach it?
Choose a Partner That Shares Your Values
The very best partnerships are the ones where everyone shares a common vision and values. These commonalities ensure you are driving growth for both organizations.
To discover which partner will best compliment your own skills and abilities, be sure to ask plenty of questions up top. Ask why this partner wishes to team up with you. What are their main goals and how do they expect to contribute to the event? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Do they know and are they able to discuss these?
If you choose a partner whose values and skillset do not align with your own, you are asking for communication issues and a host of other event headaches!
Do You Actually Like This Person?
A prospective partner may have amazing qualifications, experience, and values that align with your own, but at the end of the day, do you like this person? Can you see yourself working with them on a daily basis? Is their personality a good fit for your project team? Are they open to your ideas or are they not the best collaborators?
Planning an event should be fun. Yes, it’s hard work, but at the end of the day, it should be work you and your partner enjoy. Choosing a partner that has a personality you actually really like will make the entire process much more enjoyable.
Choose a Strategic Partner
In our experience, not many event planners plan with strategy in mind. They put together a to-do list and go about checking each task off, but they don’t necessarily think about how all of those tasks work holistically to help their organization reach a goal.
It’s not easy to suddenly shift your mindset and begin planning with ROI and strategy in mind, which is why it’s incredibly important to partner with someone who is a strategic planner. Someone who can offer a strategic balance between budget, value and risk and determine where your efforts and money should go. You ultimately want to work with someone that values your organization and your overall event goals and can help you maximize your event spend.
Are They Open to Feedback?
Post-event engagement is just as important to the partnership as pre- and during. Is the prospective partner open to feedback? If they are, they will be able to improve their processes and strategies for the next event. Keep in mind, it is helpful to offer not only constructive criticism but also positive feedback to your partner.
The event industry runs on partnerships. If you want to turn your partnerships into valuable relationships you’ve got to work with people you actually like, whose values and skillset align with yours, who are open to collaboration and feedback, and whose strategies help you get the biggest return on your investment.
If you are in search of a partner for your next event, get in touch with us! We’ll be happy to get on the phone with you and answer any questions you may have to see if this would be a good fit!
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J.Shay Team is the generic alias for our event staff that want to submit work anonymously.